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Turning barber chair into therapist’s couch; Godwin Heights High School creates barbershop

Posted at 6:42 AM, Jun 06, 2017

WYOMING, Mich.-- For many people, getting a hair cut gives them much more than just a fresh look, it's an opportunity to vent and turn the barber chair into a therapist's couch.

One local high school is taking that concept and styling it into a unique experience for teenagers.

Welcome to the place were everyone knows your name.

"For me, growing up, the barbershop was the poor mans therapist," explained Duane Bacchus, coordinator for the Kent School Services Network.

This friendly, neighborhood barbershop is located inside the men's theater dressing room at Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming.

It started as a vision months ago and has finally turned into a reality. Bacchus enlisted the help of his own barber, Chris Turner, of Ace of Fades Barbershop in Grand Rapids.

"For some reason, I cant explain it, people open up a lot when they're sitting in a chair," Turner said.

It's a unique way of giving back to the community, while creating a place teenage boys can come share stories, laugh and get life advice in the comfort of their own school barbershop.

"They’re understanding and they’ve been through the same things so they know a lot more,” said senior, Lazevious Steele.

"A lot of the black community, we don’t have fathers at home," Turner explained.

"I was a person who grew up in a fatherless home, so for me to play a small part in that position where I can be that substitution, I think it’s amazing."

The Masons of Grand Rapids Lodge 34 also got involved and donated the barber chairs.

The barbershop will run in conjunction with the school store. Students are rewarded for their good behavior with "Godwin Bucks." Those are then used to pay for haircuts.

The project inspires paying it forward, while helping mold these young students to be a cut above the rest.

Bacchus said they haven't forgotten about the ladies. They hope to bring in volunteers to do hair and makeup for the girls ahead of school dances in the fall.

If you'd like to help out, contact Duane Bacchus at 616-252-2050 ext 2137 or